This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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For a guy who looks like he could scatter a group of Hell's
Angels with one forceful glare, Erik Balkey, the musician, is actually a
gentle-voiced singer-songwriter. And one of considerable talent as he
has produced a release here with nary a weak cut.
The two songs that struck me the most are "God's Poet Now,"
Balkey's tribute to the late Dave Carter, and "Someone To Call."
The former nicely uses elements of nature in a descriptive reaction to
Carter's death: "...flesh and bone will break, like the highest bough..."
and "...a candle died on the earth that night, there's one more star in
a diamond sky..." Someone would do us all a great favor by combining
the various Carter tribute songs on one release--what a treat that would be!
The latter is Balkey-written but seems like a very familiar song--Townes Van Zandt,
for some reason, comes to mind--and depicts the little things that keep
us going day-to-day throughout a lifetime.
Two versions of "Silent Night" are presented but neither is the ol' holiday chestnut. One has electric
guitar backing with somewhat distorted vocals--the second is a hidden
cut, a 'straight' version.' The song contains the moral and
philosophical question so applicable to today's headlines: "how much
bad must we do to do good?"
"How Does This Poem End" has an engaging, catchy rhythm and
uses the song title as a stand-in for Balkey's life journey as a
artist. "Can I Make A Home" addresses the issue of settling down versus
living a profession requiring life on the road.
Like with "Someone To Call," "Chase My Blues Away" describes
the small things that keep us putting one foot in front of the other,
or as someone once put it: keep on keeping on.
Liner notes: easily readable but lyrics are missing as is the genesis of each song.
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